Thanksgiving Recipes | From Our Family to Yours

Family recipes for thanksgivingThanksgiving Recipes for the Holidays

I feel like we blinked and the holiday season is upon us.  This is my favorite time of year but I am still left asking myself how we are already a week away from Thanksgiving and there is SNOW on the ground . . crazy right.  As foodies, J and I love this time of year.  We get to try out new holiday recipes and of course bring out our old favorites as well.  In our house it has become a tradition to make a pumpkin roll, something my mother-in-law passed down to me and buttery yeast rolls from our time living in the midwest.  But this year, we have a few new favorites including a whiskey sour recipe from my friend Claire.

Whiskey Sour

In our house we love a good whiskey drink, either neat or mixed in as a classic cocktail

2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounces lemon juice
Egg white
Shake without ice vigorously for about 12-15 seconds. Add ice and shake again. Strain well into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with drops of bitters and use a toothpick to swirl them into a design.  While this drink is delicious  . . . we would be remiss without leaving you with something delicious to make to go along side it.

Football Dip

This is the proverbial guilty pleasure for the football game on Thanksgiving Day.  Just don’t tell your guests what’s in it because . . calories don’t count during the holidays . . am I right!

8 oz cream cheese

1 cup grated swiss cheese

.5 cup of ritz crackers

.5 cup of mayo

8 slices of cooked bacon

Mix softened cream cheese, swiss cheese, and mayo well.  Place in an 8×8 pan. Top with crumbled bacon and crackers.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Serve with frito or tortilla chips.  I would recommend if you have a large party, make extra.

Thanksgiving Roll Recipe

Lastly no Thanksgiving or holiday meal is complete without a good homemade roll . . and according to J . . they are for making sandwiches as leftovers.  For real, that man could make a sandwich out of anything, probably even a flip flop.

1 cup of very warm water

2 packages active dry yeast

.5 cup of melted butter

.5 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp salt

4 -5 cups flour

Additional melted butter

Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl.  Let stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.  Stir in butter, sugar, eggs, and salt.  Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix (some flour may not be needed).  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 4 days.  To bake, grease a 9×13 pan.  Turn the chilled dough onto a lightly floured board.  Divide dough into 24 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into smooth round ball:  place balls in even rows in the prepared pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about an hour.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.  Brush with melted butter and break apart to serve.

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Med School Sweethearts | Downtown Birmingham

Med School Sweethearts Birmingham Engagement SessionMed School Sweethearts

These two med school sweethearts got in front of our cameras earlier this month and even brought their sweet pups along for the ride.  We just adored getting to know Colleen and Michael as they shared their excitement news that he had just accepted a fellowship back in their home state of Illinois.  Both Michael and Colleen met at UAB while she was completing her NP and he was a finishing up his residency.

We always love sharing a bit of “He Said, She Said” about our couples.  When we asked Michael about one thing he loved about Colleen he said, “It’s a random thing but I love listening to her watch tv or listen to a podcast. She laughs so loud and heartily and responds to what she hears or sees. It’s the most genuine joy I have ever seen or heard.”

Colleen said, “It’s hard to pick a favorite thing about Michael. One of my favorite things about him is how caring he is, whether that’s me, his family, our dogs, or his patients, he truly cares. He is also very funny and loves making jokes.”

A Birmingham Engagement

Michael proposed to Colleen on a low key summer day.  They went for a walk, played tennis, and then were just hanging out at home. Michael all of a sudden made an excuse to go upstairs. Colleen had recently lost a ring of hers. Michael came back downstairs with a ring box in his hands which he said contained a replacement for the ring she had lost. Colleen opened it to find a far nicer engagement ring! Michael explained that their house they had built together was his favorite place and he didn’t want to wait any longer to propose.  We are honored to capture their wedding next year as they prepare for their next adventure together in Chicago with their darling dogs in tow.Med School Sweethearts Birmingham Engagement Session

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College Sweethearts get Engaged | The Preserve

College Sweetheart at the PreserveCollege Sweethearts

There is always something so special about college sweethearts.  I think it gives you the time to mature together as you date and move out into the adventures of post-college.  While Margaret and Parker have known each other since they were three, they didn’t start dating until they were in their freshman year at Auburn.  Five years later he proposed at the Statue of Liberty in Liberty Park where he took Margaret to “show her” where his name had just been engraved as an Eagle Scout on the wall there.

A Preserve Engagement Session

While they are self – prescribed casual folks who love baseball and breweries (who doesn’t), Margaret came to their engagement session in the most gorgeous powder blue lace dress . . absolutely stunning.  We were blessed with the most perfect weather after having to reschedule due to a heat advisory earlier in the year.  They only difficult part about the whole session was smelling the delicious tacos coming from Moss Rock down the street!  These two laughed, danced, and even did the dip like PROS.  We can’t wait for your summer 2019 wedding.

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Ward 8 | Craft Cocktail

with grenadine

Ward 8

I had never heard of the Ward 8 until meeting Clair Mclafferty but if Clair makes you a drink . . you darn well better try it.  Back in August she introduced us to this crafted cocktail as one of her personal faves.  As a fan of the Whiskey Sour . . this sister recipe sweetened with grenadine is now also a personal favorite of my own.

There is myth and legend that surrounds this unusually named drink and most of it points back to a bartender in 1898 who created it and served it to a mob boss after he won an election in Boston’s eight ward.

Recipe for the Ward 8

2 ounces bourbon or rye
1/2 ounce grenadine
1/2 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce orange juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Wanting a signature drink for your wedding day?  Contact Clair for your own custom version of the Ward 8.


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Location: Prophouse

Styling: Hothouse

Mixologist: Clair Mclafferty

Lighting: Profoto B2

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Hoover Randle House Wedding

Hoover Randle House Wedding

We rounded out a fantastic month of weddings at the Hoover Randle House with a beautiful outdoor ceremony for this sweet couple from out of town.  The Hoover Randle is by far one of our favorite places for a wedding, not only because of the beautiful historic home but also because of the darling folks that run and own it.

A Proposal

R and M had been dating for 6 years after meeting in grad school when they began to start talking about weddings and marriage.  On the way to a pre-planned dinner M proposed to R in the middle of their kitchen.  R had wanted to have a say in her engagement ring and after wearing her grandmother’s ring in the interim, she decided she loved it so much that she would keep it as her own instead, loving the heirloom and the story behind it.

The Wedding Day

M’s wedding day began with watching the college game  with his friends and family while R got ready with her sister and friends upstairs.  Surrounded by beautiful artwork, she talked about the funny joke she planned to play on M during the first look.  He had been asking for awhile what her dress looked like and she had jokingly told him it had red tassels with peacock feathers.  As a joke, she put the “parts” of her dress in a tiny box for him to open before the first look and it had him laughing like crazy before turning to tears of joy when he saw her.  The rest of the evening was just as light hearted with dancing, heartfelt toasts, and a exit amid showers of delicious smelling lavender.  Congrats R and M!

Venue: Hoover Randle Home and Gardens

Catering: IZ Catering

Florist: Lillie Jane

Cake Designer:  Magnificent Cakes

Hair: SciaScia Salon

DJ: Elevated Entertainment

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